Page:Ethnological studies (Roth).djvu/61

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Contents.—Section 45. Boulia District—the various tribes occupying it. 46. Leichhardt-Selwyn District. 47. Cloncurry District. 48. Flinders District. 49. Upper Georgina District. 50. North-West-Central Queensland. 51. Introduction to the Philological Tables. 52. Words relating to parts of the body. 53. Fauna and Flora. 54. Other Objects of Nature. 55. Weapons, Utensils, &c. 56. Numerals. 57. Abstract Ideas. 58. Family Relationships.

45. The Boulia District, the limits of which have already been defined in section 2, comprises in all a score or so of tribes, each having its head centre or chief encampment. Speaking generally, these same tribes are able to render themselves pretty mutually intelligible, and possess in common various trade-routes, markets, and hunting-grounds, customs, manners, and beliefs; in other words they might, as a whole, be well described as "messmates," though in the aboriginal language there appears to be no one word which would express them collectively. Still deeper bonds of comradeship connect them in that all these tribes, within certain individual limitations to be subsequently discussed, are inter-marriageable, and furthermore, in cases of warfare with outsiders, would join in making common cause against the enemy.

Owing to the opening up of the country with the advent of the Europeans, some of these tribal camps have been shifted of late years from their original quarters or else amalgamated with others, while in a few cases, what with privation, disease, alcohol, and lead, the whole community has been annihilated. Even during my sojourn at Boulia, the head-centre of the Pitta-Pitta tribe, I have never seen more than about 50 of these individuals congregated there on any one occasion, though this number might occasionally have been augmented by visitors coming in from neighbouring districts for purposes of trade and barter. At the present day I do not suppose that the whole tribe numbers more than 200 souls, scattered here, there, and everywhere. So again, the Yellunga people of Noranside are fast disappearing, while the Yunda folk, originally of Warenda, are now scarcely ever to be met with on that station, their quarters having been shifted northwards towards Tooleybuck. The tribes indigenous to the Boulia district can therefore only be located within certain limits, as follows:—The Boinji, Dungadungara, Yunnateunnea, Ringo-Ringo, &c., in the neighbourhood of Marion Downs, the Pitta-Pitta at Boulia, the Ooloopooloo at Bedouri, the Rukkia and Tinka-Tinki at Cooraboolka, the Rungo-Rungo in the country between Herbert and Roxburgh Downs, the Koonkoolenya at Mooraboola, the Kwokwa and Weelko at Pilliou Creek, the Yellunga along Noranside and the Burke River, the Yunda at Booloo-Booloo, Warenda, Muckunda Creek, and Tooleybuck, the Karanya at Cluny, the Yuntauntaya at Breadalbane, the Ulaolinya at Carlo (vel Mungerebar) and Upper Mulligan River, the Miorli at Springvale, the Lakes, Cork, and Middle Diamantina River, the Wonkajera in the neighbourhood of Glenormiston (vel Idamea) and Herbert Downs, &c. Why there should be such a multiplicity of communities in this particular district, as compared with the others, it is somewhat difficult to understand, except on the supposition that a composite society is actually undergoing a process of agglutination; on the other hand, some of the above tribes cannot boast of more than a score or two of individuals.